Working Woman film review: spotlight to start conversation
SHINING a light on workplace harassment, Israeli film Working Woman is deeply uncomfortable but timely.
Orna (Liron Ben-Shlush) is starting a new job as assistant to real estate developer Benny (Menashe Noy) while juggling being a mother to three children and supporting her husband, who recently opened a restaurant.
She excels in her work and Benny is a supportive boss, though prone to using her looks to make sales, who soon promotes her to a sales position.
However, it becomes apparent that Benny is after more from Orna than her work ethic.
She becomes trapped in untenable position under a predatory employer while facing pressure to be the breadwinner of her family as her husband’s business struggles to stay afloat.
Working Woman is a tense experience as we see Orna become entangled in a situation that seems like it can only end badly.
Yet the film also deftly explores how much more complicated it is, how Orna still at first likes Benny; as a boss he is understanding of her family situation, as a colleague he is fun to be around and he has helped her to succeed in a career she loves.
Her husband, so focussed on fulfilling his own dream, does not see that Orna’s job means more to her than simply making money to support their family.
When the worst happens, Orna does not know how to vocalise what has happened to her and the lack of support from those around her as well as her self-blame is heart-wrenching to watch.
Working Woman does not offer any solutions to the problems it depicts, which can be frustrating as a viewer, but by putting a spotlight on the issue it will certainly start conversations.
Working Woman (MA)
Directed by: Michal Aviad
Starring: Liron Ben-Shlush, Menashe Noy, Oshri Cohen
Three and a half stars
Review by Lucy Rutherford
In cinemas October 10